A while back I had a dream of being an aquatic creature, or at least semiaquatic. The world was one of low light, overcast skies of gray and the liquid of the world was black, but translucent. The beings of the world would swim out to pay homage to a creature who simply floated in the water, and whose very presence radiated malice and harm.

I tried to swim under this creature, and my thought was if I started out long before I got close, it would not notice me. However, as I drew near, it pushed me deeper into the water with some force that was as irresistible as it was slow.

My species could not breathe underwater, yet we had a great capacity, so drowning wasn’t going to be what killed me. As the depth increased so did the pressure. I felt my brain being compressed, my skull being slowly squeezed to the point of structural failure, and dying this way would be infinitely worse. I surrendered completely, stopped fighting, and began to experience the end of my existence.

The thing released me. I drifted up slow, feeling my body from within, trying to access any damage, trying to tamp down the fear it might toy with me, pushing me down, allowing my rise, tormenting me, as it was wont to do.

I rose to the surface, near where I had began.

Since that dream, even when full awake, even at this very moment, like a scar only I know is there, the sensation of pressure on my skull, and brain, is something I can still feel.

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